You’ve been in an accident and your car was damaged. You’re wondering if it’s safe to drive home. The damage may not seem that extensive, but it’s difficult to tell if there is damage deeper in the body of the car. The only way to tell is to have the car checked by a reputable mechanic.
Auto Safety Check at the Accident Site
External damage to the car is obvious. You may be missing a bumper, the headlight or taillight may be knocked out or any number of other things may be damaged. You might ask, then, is the car road-worthy? Can you drive it safely home or to a repair shop?
If the police were called and a report filed, the attending officer can give you guidance on whether or not your car is legally allowed back on the road. Legal requirements include functioning lights and turn signals, full steering control, and no leaking fluids. Also, the license plate should be securely attached. If you are able to operate the car and meet basic safety requirements, you will most likely meet the legal requirements to have the car on the road.
If your car is steaming or smoking, it is best to get it towed. It could be steam from the radiator or it could be there is damage to the engine. Regardless, if the car is smoking, it is not safe to drive it anywhere. At the very least, steam could obstruct your view of the road; if it’s not steam but something else, you could be putting yourself and others in danger.
Driving on a flat tire is not a good idea either. Even if you have only a short distance to travel, you do not have any idea about the condition of the axle or other parts associated with the wheel mechanism. Additionally, you may cause more damage by driving on a flat.
Unless you know and trust the mechanic who repaired your vehicle after the accident, you may want to consider getting a post-repair inspection. This inspection is done by a reputable third party to ensure the repairs made to the vehicle were appropriate and done correctly. This type of evaluation assures you the repairs meet with the manufacturer’s guidelines, and that your vehicle is safe to drive again.
Another reason for a post-repair inspection is to obtain a Diminished Value appraisal. This evaluation can determine if you are entitled to financial compensation due to a loss in resale value because of the accident. If the repairs made on your car were not up to standards, it can affect the resale value of the car, but, more importantly, it could also affect your safety while driving it.
Don’t take chances with your safety or that of your loved ones. Being in an accident is stressful enough, which the lawyers at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., understand. We specialize in personal injury law and invite you to contact us for a complimentary consultation if you feel you have a personal injury case. We are the lawyers who care and proudly serve the southwest Florida region, through our offices located in North Port, Port Charlotte, and Englewood.